Ship traffic and maritime use of the Arctic Ocean is expected to increase as the yearly sea ice extent decreases. Observational data such as wave heights, wind speeds, and sea ice conditions are needed to inform forecasting models, navigation, environmental research, and improve real-time situational awareness. Arctic observations are becoming increasingly valuable, but the types and frequencies of measurements are constrained by power needs. In situ power generation by marine renewable energy would increase the frequency of observations and reduce or eliminate service trips for battery replacements.
This report discusses how marine renewable energy could be developed to power instruments currently being used in the Arctic. Offshore wind, algal derived biofuels, seafloor geothermal and solar power all have potential in the Arctic but this report only discusses energy generated from water. Wave motion and tidal currents are explored as having potential to be used for energy extraction and the powering of sensors at sea. These resources are investigated for Arctic locations and recommendations are made for future studies of specific use cases.